Missouri has two separate criminal statutes that deal with harassment.
The first defines harassment as acting without good cause with the purpose of causing emotional distress to another. This can include unwanted phone calls, frightening communication, intimidation, threats and more. This offense is considered “first-degree harassment” and is punishable as a Class E felony.
The second statute is the same as harassment in the first degree, but does not necessarily have to result in emotional distress. This offense, is “second-degree harassment” and is considered a Class A misdemeanor. However, if the accused already has a prior guilty plea or has been found guilty of conduct that would constitute harassment in Missouri. In this case, the charge would be moved up to a Class E felony.
It is important to note that neither of these statutes apply to law enforcement officers while they are in the process of conducting an investigation.
It’s important to know the distinction between harassment charges.
People found guilty of harassment in the first degree are not only labeled a convicted felon for the rest of their lives, they can also face up to four years in prison, and staggering fines of up to $10,000. Even being found guilty of second-degree harassment can lead to up to a year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines.
That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced legal team.
If you or a loved one has been charged with harassment, contact Taylor Defense Law. We’ll help you navigate the court system as you fight the charges against you.